April 2020 News

Kashmir Press Club Demands Withdrawal Of FIR Against Valley Journalists

22 April 2020

Srinagar: The Kashmir Press Club on Wednesday expressed grave concern over a series of FIR registered against journalists working in Kashmir Valley and demanded their withdrawal. 'The Kashmir Press Club (KPC) yet again notes with grave concern the series of FIRs that have been filed against journalists in the valley,' the journalist body said in a statement. It said in the latest instance, a case has been registered against journalist and author Gowhar Geelani. This is the third such FIR against media persons from the valley in the last few days. 'Many scribes in the valley have expressed anguish over these developments. The KPC stands in solidarity with all members of the fraternity,' the statement said. An FIR was registered against senior journalist Peerzada Ashiq, working for The Hindu, over a story he had filed recently. Ashiq was summoned by the police on Sunday in two different districts of Kashmir within a span of six hours to explain his position regarding one of his news reports. In the second case, freelance photographer Masrat Zahra was booked for uploading 'anti-national' content on social media. In the third instance, the Cyber Police Station in Kashmir Zone on Tuesday registered a case and started investigation into allegations that journalist Gowhar Geelani was indulging in unlawful activities through social media posts. 'While condemning and seeking withdrawal of the cases against Peerzada Ashiq and Masrat Zahra, we also urge the authorities to withdraw the case against Gowhar Geelani,' the press body said. The Kashmir Press Club said it will send a representation to the Press Club of India (PCI) detailing these issues and other grievances related to difficulties faced by media in their functioning during the COVID-19 pandemic. 'We hope the media fraternity which is working amid huge challenges get a conducive atmosphere to deliver their day-to-day duties,' the statement added.